Showcasing northern caving at YDNP


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Showcasing caving to the Yorkshire Dales National Park team

Six weeks ago, we were made aware of an opportunity to showcase caving in the form of a display in the concourse of the Yorkshire Dales National Park (YDNP) Yoredale headquarters in Bainbridge.

As well as being in pride of place for YDNP staff to see each day, the display is a centrepiece for any visitors, including the public and representatives from other like-minded organisations.

This opportunity was realised by our former Access Officer, Tim Allen, who as many of you will know, has been passionately promoting caving for many years, through media articles, public engagement, CNCC roles, and his and Jane’s development and running of (now owned by BCA) and of of course, this excellent UKCaving forum.

The chance to get such a prominent showcase for caving was too good to miss.

The standard of the display needed to be very high, and the available slot was only a matter of weeks away. A quick poll of the CNCC Committee showed strong support for spending around £1000 of our funds on the display (which was the estimated cost) and so Tim set to work selecting northern caving photos and getting these commercially produced.

Thank you to Mark Burkey, Gary Douthwaite, and Tim, for contributing photos:


The theme of the display is ‘Pitches, Passage, Pretties and People’, with a total of 18 photos spanning these categories printed on canvas to a very high standard, each with a professionally produced caption plaque. There is also a board with information and links to online resources so that anyone wanting to learn more can easily do so; These details are also available as a printout on the reception for people to take away.

Tim kindly went up to Bainbridge on Tuesday (9th August) to set everything up. He managed to chat to YDNP Chief Executive, David Butterworth, and give him a tour of the display. We hope that YDNP will be promoting this in their own media too.



We expect that the display will be up for around three months. The Yoredale YDNP Offices in Bainbridge are open to the public Monday to Friday. We would love if cavers, or anyone interested in the caves of our region, could call in and have a look at the photos, and sign the visitors book to record your interest. Demonstrating enthusiasm for caving in our region to the YDNP authorities can only be a good thing in terms of strengthening their support for us in the future.

Once the display is over, we are hoping to repurpose it elsewhere. Tim has made preliminary enquiries with The Countryside Museum at Hawes, but other suggestions are welcome.

We would like to thank Tim, who has put in a tremendous amount of effort into bringing this together so quickly. We would also like to thank Ali Jarrett and Wendy McDonnell from the YDNP Headquarters for their support and assistance.


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Tim kindly called in to the National Park Yoredale office in Bainbridge yesterday to get some feedback on our photographic display.

It seems the display has gone down very well indeed and was proving to be a talking point amongst staff, and that visitors were drawn towards it.

Entries in the visitor book confirm that even experienced cavers are calling by to have a look :)

The display was originally intended for about three months (until about November); however, we have been asked to leave it up for longer due to the interest. We will therefore leave the display in place until we are contacted to say that our time is up.

We encourage anyone passing Bainbridge, or who can get to the YDNP Office at Bainbridge, during usual Monday to Friday working hours, to call in and see this excellent array of prints, and to leave your name and comments in the visitor book.

As well as raising awareness of caving and the underground environment across our region, this display will hopefully bring caving to the forefront of minds when considering initiatives within the National Park. Often sports and activities such as climbing, walking, fell running, bird watching etc. are cited as activities on our fells. However, only in recent times (thanks to initiatives such as this and the work of volunteers like Tim) caving has started to be specifically called out in documents from various official organisations, such as the Glover review into CRoW and the recent Millennium Trust Lune Valley initiative. This can only be a good thing if we need help regarding access, funding for conservation, or support for other initiatives or events.


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To revive an old thread...

The photos above, previously displayed at the Yorkshire Dales National Park offices, are now on display at The Folly, in Settle:

They will be there until the end of September, and if you have a little time while passing, why not call in and have a look? They are a really awesome set of photos, sure to inspire!